November 6, 2018: The Global Coordination Mechanism on NCDs’ General Meeting of its participants was held in Geneva from 5 to 6 November 2018 and was hosted by the Government of Switzerland. Dr. Sania Nishtar was the closing speaker. In her speech she emphasized that “the future of health and societies appears to have a deep interplay with NCDs—but transformations are happening both outside of the health sector and largely in the private sector”. She further added that “The future of health can be about the future of NCDs, but many governance imperatives are emerging, in relation to norms and standards and ethical, patient safety, regulatory and human resource capacity issues. There is a need to explore how we will overcome the financial access barriers which will deepen and ensure access to medicines for all”. Her speech can be viewed here
November 5, 2018: The International Advisory Board (IAB) on Global Health of the Federal Government of Germany held its second meeting in Berlin on November 5-6. Dr Sania Nishtar participated in her capacity as a member of the IAB. The IAB is providing inputs towards the process of development of Germany’s Global Health Strategy and, as part of that process, was briefed at the German Ministry of health and the ministry of Education and Research. The Board also met the Federal Minister of Health, Jens Spahn.
November 1, 2018: The first meeting of the of the World Oncology Forum Task Force was held in Villa Veronesi in Milan from November 1-3. Since Dr. Sania Nishtar was unable to participate in person, she delivered her opening address via a virtual link. She outlined how cancer and management of cancer was at the heart of most of the innovations in therapeutics today and what this was heralding for healthcare patters and health systems. She outlined the imperative for the establishment of new norms, capacities and regulatory systems. The World Oncology Forum has previously been very visible in relation to Cancer advocacy—their best-known campaigns appeals include: “Stop Cancer now!”“Treat the treatable” “Prevent the preventable” and “From Research to Policy”.
October 30, 2018: According to a press release issued by the Government of Pakistan, Dr. Sania Nishtar has bee invited to chair the board of BISP, Pakistan acclaimed safety net institution. Following her acceptance, she has been appointed today. the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) is the Government of Pakistan’s National Cash Transfer Programme and its premier safety net institution, which currently runs a targeted USD 1.15 billion national-level cash transfer program for 5.5 million poor and marginalized women. The immediate objective of the Programme consumption smoothing and cushioning the negative effects of slow economic growth.Its long-term objectives are to meet the targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to eradicate extreme and chronic poverty and empowerment of women.The Programmewas established through an Act of Parliament and works under the executive patronage of Prime Minister.
October 26, 2918: The Global Conference on Primary Health Care was convened in Kazakhstan on the occasion of the 40thP anniversary of the Declaration of Alma Atafrom 25-26 October 2018. The conference was hosted by the Government of Kazakhstan, in joint coordination with the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, at the Palace of Independence in Astana. The conference aimed to renew political commitment to placing primary health care (PHC) at the heart of achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and the Sustainable Development Agenda. Charing and moderating the session on NCDs at the event, Dr. Sania Nishtar said “there can be no UHC without attention to NCDs—the world’s biggest killers”. Several country representatives also spoke on the panel, including Anda Caska, Minister of Health of Latvia, Deputy Minister Pinovich of Belarus and representatives of Cuba and the host country.
October 19, 2018: Dr Sania Nishtar was the keynote presenter at a symposium hosted by Western Australia—Precision Public Health Asia (PPH Asia 2018). With the theme ‘Discover, Share, Identify and Influence’, PPH Asia 2018 brought together a core group of visionaries and innovators to explore the current state of precision public health and consider the impact recent technological advancements are having to improve health outcomes. Her video-relayed presentation can viewed below. The event was hosted by the University of Western Australia and the Department of Health of Western Australia.
October 9, 2018: Dr. Sania Nishtar was the keynote speaker at the symposium “Engaging with Private Providers in Low- and Middle-Income Countries” during the fifth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR) in Liverpool, UK. HSR is a 2-yearly conference organized by Health Systems Global—a consortium of international organizations and many other leading actors in global health. Dr. Sania talked about the importance of strengthening quality of care, effective regulation, and the imperative of harnessing the outreach of informal health providers.
October 2, 2018: Organizers of the multi-country south Asian trial (Control of Blood Pressure & Risk Attenuation trial [COBRA]) recently held a ‘Policy Forum on Hypertension and Cardiometabolic Risk’ in Colombo. The trial is undergoing in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka and is supported by the Welcome Trust. Dr. Sania Nishtar, delivered the keynote address. She underscored the need for Universal Health Coverage to include hypertension and diabetes care for all segments of the population “Countries are crying out desperately for help. This is evidenced by data from WHO’s Country Cooperation Strategies in more than 150 countries. We could end up undermining the economic viability of Universal Health Coverage if plans failed to address the world’s leading killer”, she said.
October 2, 2018: The World Cancer Congress (WCC) is a major event in the global cancer control agenda. It is arecognized international conference “which encourages effective knowledge transfer and best practices exchange amongst 3,500 cancer control and public health experts from 150 countries”. It aims to strengthen the participants’ action and impact on national, regional and international scales through a multidisciplinary program that features the latest successful interventions in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care. Dr. Sania Nishtar was the keynote speaker at the opening plenary of the conference; her talk, delivered through a video link can be accessed below.
27 September 2018: The High-Level commission on NCDs hosted an event at the United Nations in New York on September 27. Co-chairs of the commission, Dr. Tabare Vasquez, President of Uruguay and Dr. Sania Nishtar co-chaired the meeting. The status of progress of the commission and its scope of work for its next phase were discussed by the co-chairs and other commissioners who were present.
27 September 2018: Dr. Sania Nishtar delivered an impassioned address at the 3rd High-Level Meeting on NCDs at then United Nations. She outlined the importance of many developments by the private sector, which are paving the way for health systems to become more choric care centric and reiterated the need for stepping up public roles—norm setting, bolstering regulatory capacity and the need to address financial access barriers. Her co-panelists at the session included President Edgar Lungu of Zambia, The Honorable Timothy Harris, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, and Zoleka Mandela. The text of Sania Nishtar’s speech can be accessed here.
26 September 2018, 6 pm: Dr. Nishtar ended the day by delivering the closing keynote back at the United Nations event on Addressing Childhood Obesity. In her remarks, Dr. Nishtar underscored the importance of data-driven solutions. Without data, we cannot ensure that our policies benefit the who need it most. By expanding and standardizing data collection, we can begin to tackle childhood obesity.The text of Sania Nishtar’s talk can be accessed here. The event was organized by the Government of Portugal and was chaired by Adalberto Campos Fernandes, Minister of Health of Portugal and Fernando Araujo, Secretary of State for health of Portugal. James Chau moderated the event. Dr. Sania Nishtar has previously served as the Chair of the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood obesity, the recommendations of which are currently being implemented, globally.